C Beebies actress Samantha Seager and her magical world of make believe in Stokey
You might know her as Bobby the Bus Cleaner from C Beebies’ Me Too or Jodie Morton from Corrie.
But actress Samantha Seager and her colleague West End actress and artist Shirani Bolle have been sprinkling magic drama dust in Stokey for the past two years with their Acting Bugs drama classes.
We’ve been taking our little boy along to the classes (he’s almost 2) and they’re a massive hit. For around an hour every Tuesday we’re transported to a magical world of drama and storytelling using music, bubbles, puppets and props.
Samantha, who has two children aged 10 and 12, took time out of her busy touring schedule to tell us a little about herself and the class.
She said: “When my children were much younger, I was often frustrated with the lack of creative and imaginative activities we could attend together in my local community and I vowed that when I had the opportunity I would establish such a drama group.
“I started doing Acting Bugs sessions in 2012 in my local church hall as I love working with children, particularly with pre-school and toddlers and have a passion for drama, play and having fun.
“I designed the sessions so the parent/carer can join in alongside the child as I find that as we become adults, we lose our ability to really play and the best part of the job is seeing a child’s face light up when they see their mummy or daddy pretending to be a chicken or a wobbly jelly, or chasing them around like a Grufallo. There are always lots of opportunity for exploring and creating wonderful worlds of make believe together and we bring all of the activities together under the umbrella of a story.
“The sessions are brilliant for developing confidence, the more a child comes along, the more comfortable and part of the group they start to feel and they become increasingly adventurous as the weeks go by.
“They are also fantastic at developing concentration and focus, which really helps with the transition to nursery and school.
“I am enjoying Acting Bugs so much I am thinking of hanging up my acting boots and devoting to my life to this. It is highly educational too but the children should never know that!”
Samantha, who also starred in Billy Elliott, and Shirani, who starred in Miss Saigon and illustrates her own books, the Cloudland series, run five drama sessions throughout East London and work in local nurseries. They recently started working with Mencap and are devising sessions for children with additional needs and disabilities.